EXCLUSIVE: Seems Hollywood’s top legal mandarin has hit a raw nerve with the re-election seeking head of the WGA West and the latter wants the former to stay in his lane.
“Ken Ziffren is an experienced lawyer, which means there are some things he should know and some things he fully understands that he can’t know,” said David A. Goodman on Wednesday after the Ziffren Brittenham LLP partner put forth a public analysis of the merits and outcomes of the Guild’s recent court moves and long-term strategy.
“He can’t know the outcome of the WGA’s lawsuit before the fact,” the WGA West President declared to Deadline after Ziffren earlier today asserted that the scribes were on the verge of coming up short in their now abandoned anti-packaging action in Los Angeles Superior Court.
On August 19, having lost out a month before in their attempt to have a pivotal pre-election scheduled dismissal hearing pushed beyond mid-September, the Guild pulled the plug on its suits against WME, CAA and UTA. The WGA simultaneously moved the matters to federal court under pretty much the exact same terms as the initial state suit they filed in April.
But it wasn’t only lawsuits that rankled today Goodman, who has been represented by Ziffren and his firm over the years
In a seemingly increasingly acerbic race against Phyllis Nagy and the WGA Forward Together slate, the union exec jumped on the lawyer for comments to the Beverly Hills Bar Association about how the four-month standoff over packaging with the uber-agencies could go depending on the Guild election results next month.
“He should know that, as a lawyer who represents WGA members, he needs to avoid conflicts of interests and stay out of Guild elections,’ scribe boss Goodman stated of the one-time L.A. Film Czar in this war of words. “He should also know that he and his firm, as both employers and attorneys for industry employers, are legally prohibited from supporting candidates in union elections.”
“He prides himself on being neutral; his statements today are anything but,” The Orville EP added in damning tones of the attorney. “They are a partisan attempt to undermine Guild leadership and to undercut efforts to end agency malpractice.”
“But, of course, Mr. Ziffren knows that,” the multiple Emmy nominee concluded of the master dealmaker. “It’s precisely what he intended to do.”
Contacted by Deadline, Ken Ziffren had no comment on David A. Goodman’s response to his remarks at Lawry’s The Prime Rib today.